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To Reupholster or to Replace?


For many furniture owners in New York City and Brooklyn, a worn piece of furniture - especially one that fits well in your apartment or brownstone, and has given you years of good use - poses a very specific, very common question: to replace, or to reupholster?

Reupholstering allows you breathe new light into an old, worn piece, and to keep its functionality in your space. At face value, however, many people are taken aback by the upfront cost of reupholstering a piece. Sometimes it can seem easier and more cost effective to ditch the old piece and buy a new one altogether. Before running scared, though, there are many factors to consider when deciding whether it’s worthwhile to reupholster your piece.

First, determine whether you love the style and shape of your furniture piece. If you really love the way it looks, reupholstering might be your best bet. Further, really consider the quality of the piece. The older the piece, the better chance there is that it is of extremely good quality. In matters of furniture, the frame of the furniture, or in other words, what lies beneath the fabric or upholstery, determines quality.

A good, solid frame will be made of a hard wood such as solid oak or maple. The pieces will be glued together with dowels, and reinforced with corner blocks. In contrast, a cheaper, less-quality piece – such as one you might opt for should you decide to replace – will be made of a softer wood such as pine, fur, or poplar. In these pieces, staples will often hold the frame together, and therein, the lifetime of the constructed frame will be much briefer than that of a stronger, better-made product.

Springs and filling should also be considered when evaluating the overall quality of piece. Higher end furniture contains coil springs attached to a interlaced hemp web deck, which is adhered to the front and back rails of the furniture piece. Springs are held together with “eight way ties” which are then covered with filling and burlap. Cheaper constructions will contain variations on springs that will cause your furniture to warp and break more quickly. If your furniture piece has solid springs and quality filling, it may be worth saving via reupholstering.

It’s important to determine and consider quality of a piece because if you forgo a good, solid piece because of the upfront value, and instead buy a cheap replacement, you will risk losing long-term value.

If after evaluation you determine that you love the style of your piece, and that your piece has great quality and a reupholstering will give it many years of solid use, you’re on to discovering the possibilities within the furniture. What fabric will you reupholster with? What new look will your piece have? With the many options available to you, the possibilities for your for your new, classic piece abound.

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NYC Furniture Upholstery | Manhattan Commercial Upholstery | New York City Sofa Reupholstery
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